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7 night itinerary that covers all of the islands

Drogheda, Ireland
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416 posts
163 reviews
117 helpful votes
7 night itinerary that covers all of the islands

I noticed that almost all itineraries focus on either the eastern or western islands, but recently came across a company that cover both in 8 days. It seemed like a "no brainer" to book this purely on the basis that it would mean seeing as much as possible in the time we have aboard.

The boat is the Calipso and I wonder if anyone has any advice!

Cheers!

15 replies to this topic
r c
Portland, Oregon
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27,206 posts
2 reviews
3 helpful votes
1. Re: 7 night itinerary that covers all of the islands

Welcome

Yes its a no brainer...but the realiry of it is distance/time/money....ypu can only cover so much going only so fast.

I left thr eastern and southern side for another possible trip.

On my trip in a few days i will be asking about how much upon arrival..instead of booking in advanced like i did for this trip.

Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Galapagos Islands
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5,135 posts
21 reviews
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2. Re: 7 night itinerary that covers all of the islands

Dear Bernadette,

If it sounds too good to be true, it's usually too good to be true. There are over 100 islands and islets in Galapagos, and a dozen of these have designated landing sites accessible to visitors. Some have several - as a result, there about 80 visitor sites in Galapagos.

A cruise will have you explore at least 2 / day, sometimes 3 or even 4 on ships that go all the way, and will have you visit one on the last day before disembarkation as well (not all ships do that). So, the absolute best case scenario will have you exploring a maximum of 30 of the 80 or so visitor sites in 8 days (in reality more likely close to 20-25 for most ships). Call them East or West, or Southeast or Northwest - at the end of the day, you'll be exposed to a subset of all the visitor sites. If you're keen on seeing as much as possible - then either stay aboard and experience the ship's full 15 day circuit (they are not allowed to visit the same visitor site twice in a 15 circuit) or come back another time and follow the ship's other 8 day itinerary.

The Calipso is a good sturdy ship - no bells nor whistles, but well managed.

Warmest regards,

Heather Blenkiron

CNH Tours

Edited: 04 September 2023, 16:25
La Grange, Texas
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6,516 posts
194 reviews
103 helpful votes
3. Re: 7 night itinerary that covers all of the islands

Heather hit the nail on the head. You can't see "all the islands" in 8 days. It's not possible time, distance, or even access-wise.

We did a western itinerary, that included 2 snorkel and 2 hike/walks a day. Sometimes these were at the same island but different locations during the day, other times different islands between am and pm. Even on the same island, the topography or snorkel conditions/locations were different between the two.

The Galapagos is amazing, and is one of the few places I was immediately ready to return to. Find a ship and itinerary that lets you see what interests you, a longer itinerary if you have the time/money, then assume you still won't be able to see it all.

Drogheda, Ireland
Level Contributor
416 posts
163 reviews
117 helpful votes
4. Re: 7 night itinerary that covers all of the islands

Thanks for all the information. I do understand there's only so much anyone can squeeze into 8 days so apologies when I say that I've found an itinerary that covers "all the islands"! That was a bit silly! ;-)

What I mean is that the Calipso visits a lot of the major sites in the 8 days. Here's a list of the places it stops.

Bartholomew, Santiago (Chinese Hat), Espinosa point on Fernandina. Tagus Cove, Urbane Bay & Moreno Point on Isabela. North Seymour & South Plaza. Post Office Bay, Baroness View Point and Cormorant Point on Floreana. Santa Fe, Charles Darwin Research Centre on Santa Cruz and San Cristobal.

Day 1 and Day 8 both have just one tour. Day 6 has 3 tours and all others have 2.

I'm happy to hear that the Calipso is well managed. We don't need bells or whistles, but I like the look of the cabins and the reviews I've read on recent cruises with the company all seem very positive.

Unfortunately this visit to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands will be a once in a lifetime trip. We are retired now and we have a whole lot of travelling to fit in while we're still relatively fit and able! Budget doesn't extend to to 15 nights, so that's not a runner for us.

Looking at what's on offer above, could Heather let me know if the places I've listed are among the most popular places to spend half day tours? I'm really keen to see Blue Footed Boobies, Sea Lions & Tortoises.

I won't book just yet as I'm trying to tease everything out as much as possible before I take the plunge. We plan to arrive in Ecuador around the 12th/13th of May but could adjust a week or so in either direction if necessary.

We don't like intense heat, and I'm looking to visit when the seas are fairly calm. Can you please tell me if the timing sounds right at least? What I've read so far seems to indicate that we'll be OK, but the feedback from your good selves is much appreciated.

Thank you kindly! :-)

La Grange, Texas
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6,516 posts
194 reviews
103 helpful votes
5. Re: 7 night itinerary that covers all of the islands

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g294310-i6637-k14384196-Trip_Report_Tip_Top_II_April_2023-Galapagos_Islands.html

Here's my trip report from our trip in April. We covered most of the same locations, though not Floreana.

The water and weather end of April was fine.

Drogheda, Ireland
Level Contributor
416 posts
163 reviews
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6. Re: 7 night itinerary that covers all of the islands

Lojeslj that's a great trip report. Very memorable. So memorable in fact that as I went through it this morning I realised I'd read it all about 2-3 weeks ago while scouring the Tripadvisor Forum for nuggets of information! :-)

As you say, your trip took you to a lot of the same locations as the Calipso, so that reassures me that the one we're looking at presently will give us a great all round experience. Everyone who writes a Galapagos Islands report sounds awestruck, so I'm sure whatever we do for our 7-8 days we'll be blown away by Mother Nature!

La Grange, Texas
Level Contributor
6,516 posts
194 reviews
103 helpful votes
7. Re: 7 night itinerary that covers all of the islands

Our guide made a video for us that I shared with a fellow traveler on a trip to Ireland last week. She was googling Galapagos trips that night. LOL

It's an amazing destination, and I would love to go back again, which is saying something. We travel a lot and really don't repeat anything. My husband and I agreed this is one place we'd gladly do again ASAP.

One thing I looked at was what animals were at which islands. My general feel for it was that the eastern itineraries seemed more bird focused, while western was more animal/sea life. I love to snorkel and wanted where the best sea life was. I don't know if that's really true, as I'm not the expert. My husband wanted to see sharks, but they seemed more northern, which isn't as frequently visited I think?

If you end up going to Floreana, this movie may interest you. We watched the first half on our cruise, but never did get to finish it. It's a true story about the very early days of Floreana.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2960450/

Quito, Ecuador
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3,075 posts
157 reviews
138 helpful votes
8. Re: 7 night itinerary that covers all of the islands

Dear Bernadette,

I have sailed on board of the Calipso with my clients and let me tell you that this boat is one of the best in the Galapagos islands...

It happens to have a dual scuba and naturalist cruise operation, therefore it combines one week with divers and another week with regular non diving passengers.

This boat is one of the safest ones in terms of navigation since it's hull is made out of iron, therefore it is really strong and adecuate to navigate open seas specially out of the archipelago. Within the scuba itinerary this ship offers visits to Wolf and Darwin, these two islets are located at open ocean, at a distance of 180 kilometers north of Isabela island, this site holds the largest biomass of sharks in the planet, only visible when you scuba dive there (I've seen 400 sharks in one immersion at Wolf).

The islands which are included on the naturalist itinerary are some of the best, unfortunately I can see that you are missing Española which is the island with the greatest diversity of bird fauna in the archipelago. Also you are not visiting Kicker Rock and Genovesa. Kicker Rock and Española are able to be visited by day trip from San Cristobal, maybe you should stay there on that island after the cruise in order to explore these two fascinating places.

All in all the Calypso is a great choice.

Saludos cordiales,

Dennis Yépez

Guanguiltagua Expeditions

Edited: 06 September 2023, 12:07
Drogheda, Ireland
Level Contributor
416 posts
163 reviews
117 helpful votes
9. Re: 7 night itinerary that covers all of the islands

My apologies Dennis that I did not see your post until this evening! I'm sure you think it very rude of me not to thank you for all your valuable information!

I really appreciate what you have told me and spending an extra couple of nights after (or indeed before) the cruise like a good plan!

We have been away for the past month exploring parts of Greece and Turkey, so now we finally have a little time to get back to planning our first visit to South America.

Thank you again for the detailed information.

Bernadette :-)

Drogheda, Ireland
Level Contributor
416 posts
163 reviews
117 helpful votes
10. Re: 7 night itinerary that covers all of the islands

I’m updating this thread now that we’re back home in Ireland. I’ve just posted a review on Tripadvisor about Calipso boat but for anyone who wonders how things worked out I’d have to say in one word - OUTSTANDING!

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